The 3 demands of the modern learner

By the 25 March 2020

HR professionals are under growing pressure to provide training that has a measurable impact on their people, as well as being cost and time effective. No news here, but still a recurring challenge.

When digital learning emerged as a viable platform for building skills many years ago, there was much talk about how e-learning would replace traditional forms of training. E-learning has certainly had an impact on the way people build their skills, but it has not yet been expected to replace both synchronous (face-to-face or virtual) and on-the-job learning.

Training providers often use a mix of digital and face-to-face learning – also known as ‘blended learning’ – a style of training that is essentially traditional; participants show up for a course online and in person, are taught a new skill or knowledge, then return to the work to put what they have learned into practice.

But this simple model is imperfect. Whilst knowledge transfer from trainer to participant is likely to happen, there is often little guidance or incentive to transfer that knowledge into the workplace. In a lot of cases, a significant portion of the training is forgotten within a week of attending a course.

Professionals want the training to empower them in some way, helping them do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. They also want to maximise the time they spend on training so that they make full use of every minute.

For this to happen, there are three essential ingredients for success:

  • Convenience
    An element of digital learning provides the training anywhere, any time on any device (ATAWAD). It saves people the time transporting themselves to a workshop and away from their busy schedules, whilst allowing them to absorb knowledge in bite-sized chunks. Likewise, a significant part of the learning should be done on the job (see 3).

  • Personalisation
    Generic training programmes may be relevant to most learners, but there are inevitably times when people will endure a course where they already possess the knowledge they are being taught. In other cases, the content may be largely irrelevant to their jobs. Training programmes that include an element of personalisation – being given a choice of modules, for example, or tasks they can undertake during their day-to-day work – maximises the learning potential. What’s more, when participants see that content is relevant to their work, they are more likely to be engaged.
  • Focus on learning transfer
    In modern learning programmes, ensuring knowledge and skills are successfully transferred to the workplace is paramount. This allows learning to continue after a period of tuition and gives the participant an opportunity to prove the training is helping them in a substantial way. Importantly, this approach should involve line managers who can provide opportunities for the worker to put skills into practice, as well as act as a coach or mentor.

These three demands are to be taken very seriously. This is why we are pioneering a new approach to corporate training that puts each of these three ingredients at the heart of the programme.

The #UP Skills Acquisition Collection helps participants build their soft skills in a truly immersive environment – online, in person and working alongside their colleagues to create the perfect mix.

To learn more about the #UP Skills Acquisition Collection, visit our website here 

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